MANY residents in Huntingdon are seriously inconvenienced by on-street parking outside or near to their houses, by car owners simply avoiding parking charges.
In Huntingdon, the tide of problems used to be confined to a couple of streets around the ring road. Then Riverside was made chargeable. The roads affected now stretch to the top of Primrose Lane, Cowper Road, Ambury Road and Priory Lane. American Lane is beginning to be infected. The problem is getting worse.
The district council is proposing to increase parking revenue by 50 per cent over four years. We know what that means. One can only imagine the effect on people, some of whom have impaired mobility and whose only crime is that they would like to park close to or outside their house.
There is also the problem of difficult or impossible access for emergency vehicles. This is not a Huntingdon-only problem. It affects residents up and down the district.
Parking meters would mean that many would be forced to give up their cars because of cost, even though for many cars are a lifeline. And remember it is not they who are causing the problem.
The solution is relatively simple: issue residents with a permit that allows them to park in specified streets 24 hours a day.
Non-residents should be restricted to two hours with no return. This would encourage them to go to official car parks, many of which are now depressingly under-used, increasing council income. Then the council could reverse many of the more harmful cuts in service now being imposed.
Another option would be to restrict parking between, say 2pm and 3pm to residents with special passes and issue parking tickets to others who flaunt this rule. County councillors bluster that this is not their policy. (Perhaps they should remind themselves of what they did in Scholars Avenue.)
But it is we who pay council officers' wages. They are public servants. If something that would solve a major problem for our residents is not county policy then they should change the blankety-blank policy.
I would be most interested to receive the views of your readers.
Councillor MIKE SHELLENS
Huntingdonshire District Council